Category Archives: Artwork

Special Reward for Early Backers

We test-drove Colouring Paradise by putting samples of our pages in the hands of select avid colourists.  Here’s the first result, a gorgeous rendering of Mel’s ‘Michael’ in gel pen, coloured pencil, and sharpie by Donna Phillips-Jackson.

'Michael' by Mel Anastasiou, colours by Donna Phillips-Jackson

‘Michael’ by Mel Anastasiou, colours by Donna Phillips-Jackson

Within Colouring Paradise there are a mix of intricate, densely-filled pages and those with more white space to allow your own creative ideas to unfold.  We love the sparkling golden rays fanning out from Michael’s halo that Donna has added to her version.

If you can’t wait to get your hands one of Mel’s lovely illustrations to colour for yourself, we have a special offer for early backers on our Kickstarter campaign:  anyone who pledges $10 or more before Sunday November 8th will be sent a sample pdf of either ‘Michael’, ‘Magpie’, or ‘Lost Lady’ immediately.

That pdf is yours for free, whether our campaign succeeds or not, as a thank-you for backing us early, so head on over to our Kickstarter page to get your sample now!

Three pages from Colouring Paradise

Our new Kickstarter project, Colouring Paradise: a Renaissance-Inspired Colouring Book, launched yesterday, and today we thought we’d give you a closer look at the three drawings that are available as single images.  They all appeared in Issue 1 of Pulp Literature, and even though they are some of Mel Anastasiou’s earliest published work they are remarkable in their detail and feeling.

Magpie

magpiesmallerDeep in the magic forest, a magpie rules all she surveys.  This drawing is one of the first instances of Mel’s signature, rope-like, tangled trees.  The magpie at first seems caged by the forest, until you realize she might fly away at any moment into the clearing behind her.  The orginal drawing now lives in Australia, feeling regal amid her short-tailed down-under cousins.

Michael

Michael, by Mel AnastasiouMichael holds the world up for review.  When CC Humphrey‘s story ‘Where the Angels Wait’ came to us, we knew Michael was the perfect angel for its title page.  Here’s a peek at the work in progress, before Mel added the globe to this drawing in the style of Carlo Crivelli.  You can already see Mel has captured the delicate hands, nose and mouth typical of the 15th century painter’s work.

Lost Lady

smallhistorical2After Paolo Veronese;  Veronica  is lost in the woods with only her shining jewels and silks to light the darkness around her.  This drawing first appeared as an incidental illustration in Issue 1.  In Issue 2, she reappeared in a plain white dress to accompany David Clink’s poem, ‘The Lady in White’.  Here she is, with her intricate dress restored for your colouring pleasure.

These three images are on offer as high-resolution pdfs on the Kickstarter page for only $2 each, or $5 for all three.  This is nowhere near what the intricate works are worth, but Mel is very generously offering them for those just dipping their toes into the colouring craze.  And if three’s not enough, you can get the entire book for $10 as a pdf, or $20 in print.

We are a registered non-profit organization, and once we have covered our production and shipping costs, all remaining funds to paying artists and authors.    Please consider backing us on Kickstarter:  this colouring book project will help keep Pulp Literature, and the stories and artwork you’ve come to love, alive!

A Branch and a Turning Point

poorthingnogreyI love the story “Poor Thing” by KM Vaghela. Fellow editor Jen Landels suggested that I draw the branch that the story turns on. I hoped to show the turning by pointing branches towards each possible outcome: up or down. A detail from a Filippo Lippi painting was most helpful.

You can read ‘Poor Thing’ in Issue 2 of Pulp Literature, along with gripping tales and poetry, beautifully written by JJ Lee, Mary H Auerbach Rykov, Milo James Fowler, Sarah Pinsker, Kris Sayer and other terrific storytellers and artists.

Issue 2, Spring 2014

Issue 2, Spring 2014

We think you will love this issue so much that we are making it the first milestone reward on our Patreon page. When we reach $200 a month we’ll give Issue 2 to all our patrons for free! 

Swallows Contest Open

The Swallows Sequential Short Story Contest opened on New Year’s Day, and I’m thrilled to announce that the fine folks at The Comicshop in Vancouver will be our judges.  Not only do veteran funny-book connoisseurs Brent, Keith, and Tim have a fine eye for the best in comic book art and storytelling, they’ve been managing my comics reading list for years and I have utter faith in their judgement.

What are we looking for in this contest?  Aside from the nitty gritty details of size and format, which you can find on the Contests page, we are looking for what we always want between the pages of Pulp Literature:  beautiful art and good storytelling.  To give you an idea of our taste here are a few sample pages from previous sequential shorts we’ve published.

mechanics_p1 sample

‘The Mechanics’ by Angela Melick

‘Unwanted Visitors’ by Kris Sayer

p.3

‘Dragon Rock’ by Sylvia Stopforth & Mel Anastasiou

'The Wolf' by Kimberleigh Roseblade & JM Landels

‘The Wolf’ by Kimberleigh Roseblade & JM Landels

So sharpen your pencils, get out your brushes and digital pens and send us your best 1 to 5 page long short comic.  The earlybird entry fee is only $20 until January 15th, which includes an e-subscription to Pulp Literature, and the contest deadline is February 15th.  First prize is $500 plus publication in issue 7 of Pulp Literature, alongside feature author Robert J Sawyer!

Contest rules and guidelines are here.

 

Interview with a Faerie

It must have been quite a feat, but somehow artist Melissa Mary Duncan managed to track down and extract some answers from that cheeky, ephemeral creature, first face of Pulp Literature, the Beer Faerie.

Beer Fairy by Melissa Mary Duncan

‘Beer Fairy’ by Melissa Mary Duncan

  1.  What is your idea of perfect happiness?  Hmmm, I am the Beer Faerie, so my idea of perfect happiness is? … Beers! All of them! The pale ones, the stout ones.  Amber or Dark.  The fruit  ones.  The Belgian.  German.  Lager.  Root.  Birch.  Wheat and hops the perfect blend. Rowan and Winter and Cream.  They each have their charm and place. When brewing I am happiest.
  2. What is your greatest fear? The Temperance Movement.
  3. What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?    My inability to   always think things through with clarity.
  4. What is the trait you most deplore in others?  Unrepentant, joyless sobriety.
  5. On what occasion do you lie?  How dare you!  A Faerie never lies.  WE of the glorious Fey prevaricate.
  6. What do you most dislike about your appearance?  The crown of greens can be a little itchy.  Outside of that I am perfect in every way!
  7. Which words or phrases do you most overuse?  Profanity.
  8. When and where were you happiest?  Seems that I am mostly always happy.   Prohibition was a bit of a downer but I managed enough mischief to keep things hopping.  Hopping!  Get it? Seriously, I miss  the days of yore when beer was the staple beverage of everyone, back when no one blinked an eye at a beer ration of several liters a day!  Those were good times.  I was needed then … Now? Not so much.
  9. Which talent would you most like to have?  The ability to sing like an angel.  Have you ever heard an Angel sing?  Well, if you had you would know what I mean.  Intoxicating!
  10. What do you consider your greatest achievement?  My charm.  My wit.  My cunning.  Sooo many to choose from!
  11.  What is your most treasured possession?  My magic cauldron.
  12. What is your most marked characteristic? Mischief.
  13. Who are your favourite writers? Hmm. I like Charles deLint, Bram, Charles Dickens, and those brothers … Grimm.
  14. What is your greatest regret? I do not regret. I live in the moment and in hope.
  15. How would you like to die?  I am a Faerie, I will not die. Although I am not quite immortal either … I think Master Tolkien said it best.  He is an okay writer too.  I shall go into the West and remain, Beer Faerie!
  16. What is your motto?  Bottom’s up!
  17. What is something we’d never glean about you from the cover of Pulp Lit #1?  I do community work for displaced Gnomes and Hedgerow Pixies. I also feed homeless moles.

    'Fondly Remembered Magic' by Melissa Mary Duncan

    ‘Fondly Remembered Magic’ by Melissa Mary Duncan

Melissa Mary Duncan lives in the historic city of New Westminster, British Columbia with her husband, author dvsduncan.  Having a playful inner landscape, she confesses to having a hat addiction, wearing Edwardian clothing, reading in the bath, and watching British dramas whilst drinking lemonade. A proud mother of two and grandmother of three, Melissa remains a student of Celtic, English and Northern European history and mythology. Her painting “Fondly Remembered Magic” will be the cover of Pulp Literature Issue 5.

You can meet Melissa in person at the Surrey Museum on Saturday, November 15th from 1 – 4pm, where she will be talking about all things Viking.

Print copies of Pulp Literature Issue 1, featuring the Beer Faerie, are in limited supply and currently only available through our Kickstarter campaign.

Swords at the Ready

Take a wander over to the blog of swordfighting guru Guy Windsor who is writing a book on … well, Swordfighting … and you’ll catch a sneak peak of some upcoming Pulp Lit fight scenes.  There’s part of an upcoming chapter of Allaigna’s Song (in which she meets her heart’s desire) plus some rough panel sketches of “The Ambush”, a graphic short story scheduled for issue 8.

http://guywindsor.net/blog/2014/10/writing-swordfights-and-a-great-offer/#sthash.hE6vuL82.dpbs

And if you write historical fiction, fantasy or games and want to get those sword fights right,  you’ll definitely want to check out Swordfighting when it comes out!

Join us at VCon

Issue 4 coverWe’ll be launching our Autumn issue at VCon 39, Vancouver’s own Science Fiction and Fantasy Convention.  The booklaunch takes place this Friday October 3rd at 7pm at the Sheraton in Surrey BC  on 15269 104th Avenue.  Pulp Literature authors and artists in attendance will include Eileen Kernaghan, JJ Lee, Ace Baker, JM Landels, Susan Pieters the Canvention 34 Artist Guest-of-Honour Melissa Mary Duncan!

Ours are not the only books on offer.  Other authors include Jennifer Lott, Lynda Williams, Roxanne Barbour, Casey Wolf, Silvia Moreno-Garcia, T.S. Bazelli, Lorna Suzuki, and Randy McCharles.  Plus there will be readings from David Weber,  Marty Chan, Linda DeMeulemeester, Tony Stark, Virginia Stark, Bruce Heard, Julie McGalliard, Joseph Picard, Katrina Archer, Danika Dinsmore, Graham Darling, dvs Duncan, and JA McLachlan.

Pencils for page 5 of 'The Wolf'

The VCon Booklaunch evening is open to the public, so bring some friends, enjoy the readings and do some early gift shopping amid the wonderful selection of books.

The Aurora Awards are also that evening, and our two-time cover artist Melissa Mary Duncan is up for one, as is our issue 7 feature author, Robert J Sawyer.  As well there are dozens of other readings, panels and workshops throughout the weekend.  Come and visit us in Artists’ Alley where original pages of “The Wolf” will be on display, and see Melissa’s beautiful art in person at the Art Show.

See you there!

'Fondly Remembered Magic' by Melissa Mary Duncan

‘Fondly Remembered Magic’ by Melissa Mary Duncan

Hummingbird Flash Fiction Contest Winners TBA Monday

 We can’t see them yet, but the winning stories of the Hummingbird Flash Fiction Contest are all set to make an appearance tomorrow.

The entries were wonderful, and I enjoyed every read.  I’m always impressed by Flash Fiction writers.  I write novellas and novels and I’m gobsmacked at the way you Flash Fiction Genii get

1. so many amazing ideas and

2. a fully satisfying story in a couple of pages.

I can’t wait to learn who won.   Again, the announcement will be on Monday September 15.

Pesky Summer Jobs by Tais Teng

Pesky Summer Jobs by Tais Teng

Our next contest is for a cover story. And what a cover! Tais Teng, you leave me … breathless.

 

Black and White

Pencils for page 5 of 'The Wolf'

Pencils for page 5 of ‘The Wolf’

When I was a student at the Cartoon Centre in London, David Lloyd would sometimes take a fat marker to a student’s lovingly finished pencils and obliterate half the panel in solid black to illustrate the power of ink.  He did it to me more than once.  And while inside you scream as black envelopes your precious work, with luck you absorb the lesson.  You learn bravery, and balance, and the value of black.  And with time you realize that those precious pencils weren’t worth saving after all.

The page partially inked

A partially inked page

Ink frightens me.  It’s so black, so solid, so permanent.  My comfort zone lies in pencil sketches, which are soft, mutable and contain infinite shades of grey.  Perhaps because I’m lessed skilled with it, I often find ink stills and deadens the picture.  Which is why most of the illustrations in Allaigna’s Song are pencil sketches darkened just enough to reproduce well in a black and white publication.

But sometimes a story requires solid black and white.  ‘The Wolf’ is a poem by Kimberleigh Smithbower Roseblade.  Originally a spoken-word piece, it is full of contrast between the wild and vicious ‘wolf’ — the poet’s autoimmune disease, lupus — and her health, represented by the walls of her home.  The words are direct and visceral, devoid of ambivalence or shades of grey.  For this story, pencil sketches would not do.

The finished page

The finished page

When I must ink, I normally use a fineliner, creating a cartoon overtop of the pencils.  I then use a brush pen or chisel tip marker for shadows and depth.  This is the safe, minimalist approach.  This time though, I pulled out old fashioned brush and inkpot, and let the liquid black pour onto the page.

It was scary and liberating all at once, and pulled me right back into my student days with David.  It’s too early for me to tell critically whether I’ve made the right call, but my gut tells me this suits the story.

‘The Wolf’ will be printed in Pulp Literature Issue 4, Autumn 2014.